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Voucher Debates

Two interesting exchanges over vouchers took place in the blogosphere.

At TPMCafe, Stanford University Professor Martin Carnoy, who was written often on education, sparked quite a thread with a commentary deconstructing the case for vouchers. Says Carnoy:

These ideas tap into a widely held view that markets do a better job than the public sector in just about every economic activity. So a lot of people want to believe that sending poor children to private school and increasing competition among schools should make a big difference in places where public school students are not doing well. Yet, there is only very sporadic evidence of any real educational improvement due to vouchers or to any other form of market competition in education.

Much of the discussion in this thread is quite high quality. You will, however, have to work your way through one commentator who opines…

Compulsory attendance at school is child labor. Children work, unpaid, as window-dressing in a massive make-work program for dues-paying members of the NEA/AFT/AFSCME cartel.

What? You didn’t know it was teacher unions — and not Wal Mart — that was the biggest purveyor of child labor in America? Ban the Math Sweatshop!

Our friend James Forman Jr. has an interesting series of posts on vouchers at Extra Credit, here, here, here and here.

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2 Comments:

  • 1 University Update - Stanford University - Voucher Debates
    · Aug 5, 2007 at 1:48 am

    [...] State University Contact the Webmaster Link to Article stanford university Voucher Debates » Posted at Edwize on Saturday, August 04, 2007 [...]

  • 2 phyllis c. murray
    · Aug 6, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    The NCLB Wake Up Call

    The No Child Left Behind Legislation of 2001 (Public Law 107-110), has been a wake up call for many. This United States federal law is the key to a reauthorization of a number of federal programs that aim to improve the performance of America’s primary and secondary schools by increasing the standards of accountability for states, school districts and schools, as well as providing parents more flexibility in choosing which schools their children will attend. Thus, throughout New York City, parents are now given opportunities to decide where to send Johnny. Throughout the nation many parents are turning their backs on the public school system because they feel the city, state and federal governments have also turned their backs on inner-city public schools.

    These parents are looking for VOUCHERS, scholarships, charter schools, private and religious institutions to meet their needs. Far too often this pattern is repeated nationwide. We can even say that the public schools throughout the nation have been pauperized as one hears the cries of overcrowded classrooms, crumbling school buildings, out-of-date libraries, lack of textbooks, low academic standards, student violence, inadequate school safety, and failure to have highly qualified teachers i.e. one who has fulfilled the state’s certification and licensure requirements in every classroom.

    When education is not a priority, the funding educators seek to implement the NCLB Law is never adequate. What we see is the fact that European and Asian nations are outdistancing the U.S. in the competitive world job market. These nations have reached the goal of educational excellence in their schools. These nations are investing in their greatest resource: their children.

    Martin Luther King was able to forecast this phenomenon in a speech he made to the UFT in 1964. “Education for all Americans has always been inadequate,” King said. “The richest nation on earth has never allocated enough of its abundant resources to build sufficient schools to compensate adequately its teachers. We squander funds on highways and the frenetic pursuit of recreation, on the overabundance of overkill armaments but we pauperize education.”

    It was Dr. King who reminded us that” we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Collaboration is the key in all successful negotiations. But that collaboration must embody mutual trust and mutual respect.
    Dr. King spoke, but apparently those in positions of leadership and power in government were not listening. King was assassinated in 1968. His legacy lives on today in those who wish to join teachers and concerned parents in a quest to provide the best education possible for all Americans. Yes, teachers and parents must continue to be the best advocates for children and education in America.

    The New York City Public School System was once a viable force for its earliest immigrants, like Henry Kissinger, who attended George Washington High School at night and worked in a shaving-brush factory during the day. Today, our nation’s public schools must work for all of its citizens, again. Arthur Eisenberg is right: “The state must seek to break the cycle of discrimination and disadvantage”. Certainly, the future of America,as a strong nation, depends on it.

    Phyllis C. Murray, UFT Chapter Leader